Adult coloring books: a synonym for stress relief

As young children, many of us can likely recall spending a good amount of time flipping through the pages of our favorite coloring books, spending countless hours (if added up all together, that is) working on our latest pieces of art.

After reaching a certain age, though, many people put those books away and don’t really think twice about the coloring fun they once had. Here’s the thing, though: Adult coloring books are now filling the aisles, and they’re selling rapidly! Why? As it turns out, coloring can help reduce stress! How does it do this, though? And what are some of the health benefits of this calming activity? These questions, and more, are answered as follows…

To begin, how do adult coloring books help to relieve stress? According to an article written by Elena Santos on, “The practice generates wellness, quietness and also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills, the senses and creativity.”

It enables participants, if you will, to focus on the task at hand without thinking too much about other, more stressful subjects.

In the aforementioned article, Santos also adds a quote said by psychologist Gloria Ayala: “The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors…The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.”

It certainly does.

In addition to keeping our minds stimulated and occupied, adult coloring books also have a sort of nostalgic effect, as they remind us of our childhood and of simpler times. Santos, a bit later in her article, adds another quote from Gloria Ayala regarding this aspect: coloring “brings out our imagination and takes us back to our childhood, a period in which we most certainly had a lot less stress.”

It enables us to remember and reflect upon those younger years when we spent a lot of time doing just as we pleased, but also helps our minds to concentrate and focus on what is important to us right now.

Now, what are some of the health benefits associated with adult coloring books? For one thing, they enable users to take a mental relaxation period during hectic (or not-so-hectic) days at work, school, or just in general, really. In fact, Jason Abrams, “an account manager at North 6th Agency, a New York City-based public relations firm,” told back in 2015 that “We’ll meet in the conference room on Friday afternoons and get our coloring session in…to help relieve the stress.”

Even some businesses are taking part!

As well as being a great tool for increasing levels of calmness and relaxation, though, these books are also helpful in pushing out negative thoughts: “Unplugging from technology”( and reducing anxiety levels. In the website mentioned previously (, the author referenced Dr. Scott Bea, a clinical psychologist, who says that coloring “relaxes the brain. When thoughts are focused on a simple activity, your brain tends to relax” and nervousness levels, amongst other factors, as well, seem to decrease.

All in all, it’s clear that these adult coloring books really do seem to help us “de-stress” and to relax in our ever-so-chaotic lives. They enable us to focus on our happiness and health a little bit more, to remember our childhood, and to put away stressful thoughts and situations–at least for a little while.

And, though there is a difference between Art Therapy and coloring, in the words of Dr. Marygrace Berbarian, whose name is mentioned multiple times in an article (on Adult Coloring Books) on, “Coloring definitely has therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety, (to) create focus…”


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